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Today in Nerd History | July 7

July 7th marks a pivotal day in entertainment, spanning professional wrestling, television comedy, superhero cinema, and animated streaming series. This day has given us iconic moments in pop culture, from the formation of a legendary wrestling faction and the launch of a beloved detective series to the cinematic reboot of a fan-favorite superhero and the continuation of a classic animated franchise. Let’s dive into some “Nerdy Facts” about the nWo, “Psych,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Monsters at Work.”

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.

© WWE

1996: The nWo Forms (WCW)

On July 7, 1996, the wrestling world witnessed the formation of the New World Order (nWo), a group that would become one of the most influential and notorious factions in the history of professional wrestling, during WCW’s Bash at the Beach event.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Surprising Turn: Hulk Hogan’s heel turn to join the nWo was one of the most shocking and memorable moments in wrestling, dramatically changing his career and wrestling storytelling.
  • Impact on Wrestling: The nWo storyline helped WCW Monday Nitro beat WWE Monday Night Raw in the television ratings war for 83 consecutive weeks, a significant achievement in the 1990s wrestling boom.
  • Legacy and Influence: The nWo’s popularity led to the creation of various spin-offs and iterations, and its influence can still be seen in wrestling storylines and character developments today.

© USA Network

1990: The Jetsons Movie (Theaters)

“The Jetsons Movie,” which brought the beloved futuristic family from the small screen to the cinema, updated the classic 1960s animated series with new adventures, new characters, and a contemporary soundtrack.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Updating a Classic: This film marked the first time the Jetson family appeared in theaters and featured digital ink and paint technology, which was a significant upgrade from the traditional hand-drawn animation used in the original TV show.
  • Celebrity Voice: Pop star Tiffany provided the voice of Judy Jetson, contributing to the film’s appeal with younger audiences and recording several songs for the soundtrack.
  • Environmental Message: Unlike the lighthearted TV series, the movie introduced a more serious theme of environmentalism, with the Jetsons moving to a distant outpost to help save an alien forest from corporate exploitation.

© Marvel Studios

2017: Spider-Man: Homecoming (Theaters)

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” marked Spider-Man’s first solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring Tom Holland as a younger Peter Parker navigating high school life and superhero responsibilities.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Fresh Take on Spider-Man: This film introduced a younger, more relatable Peter Parker, focusing more on his high school days and less on the origin story of how he became Spider-Man.
  • Integration into the MCU: The inclusion of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man helped to firmly integrate Spider-Man into the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Critical and Commercial Success: “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was both a critical and commercial success, praised for its light tone, performance by Tom Holland, and integration of typical teen movie elements with superhero action.

© Disney/PIXAR

2021: Monsters at Work (Disney+)

“Monsters at Work,” a series on Disney+, continues the story of Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.,” exploring the transition from scare-based energy to laughter-based energy at Monsters, Incorporated.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • New and Returning Characters: While featuring beloved characters like Mike Wazowski and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan, the series also introduces new characters, expanding the Monsters, Inc. universe.
  • Pixar’s Expanded Universe: This series marks one of Pixar’s first forays into television series, building on the success of the original movies and exploring daily life at Monsters, Incorporated.
  • Theme of Adaptation: “Monsters at Work” explores themes of change and adaptation in the workplace, offering both humor and heartwarming moments as the characters adjust to their new roles.

July 7th offers a rich tapestry of stories that have shaped television, film, and sports entertainment. From the thrilling antics in the wrestling ring to comedic and heroic adventures on screen, today celebrates creativity and transformation in popular culture. Happy Nerd History Day to all who revel in these dynamic and enduring forms of entertainment!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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